2 Important Things Byron Scott said about JLin in 8/20 NBA Q&A
Byron talked mostly about Kobe in his 8/20 NBA Q&A interview but there were 2 key points about how he thinks of using JLin in his system.
1. JLin the “Triple-Threat Player”
When Byron was asked about JLin and Steve Nash’s health, he started by saying he was hopeful that Nash will be healthy enough to “provide some of the things” to run the team. Clearly he doesn’t think Nash will be healthy enough to be the main contributor to run his team at this point.
Then he reiterated what he likes from JLin (big-shot player, tough, intelligent) and is a triple-threat player (shoot, finish at the rim or assist other players). He also said Kobe, Nick and a healthy Nash can also do that to be playmaker to create opportunities for other teammates.
Translation: he’s hopeful Lin can be the primary guy to run the team and make his teammates better but he would keep his options open,
MT: To run the team, you have Jeremy Lin, and a question mark health wise in Steve Nash.
Scott: With Nash, it’s going to be interesting. Steve hasn’t played a lot in the last year, and the clock is ticking. I did see him working out here a couple of days ago and he looked fantastic. He says he’s pain free for the first time in a while, and hopefully he’ll be healthy, number one, and hopefully he’ll be able to provide some things for us on the offensive end especially.
Jeremy is a guy who I like. I coached against him, and I love that he’s not afraid of the moment. He doesn’t mind taking big shots, and he’s very gritty, tough and intelligent. Those are all things I think will fit well with things we’re trying to do.
MT: The Lakers haven’t had a break-you-down-off-the-dribble point guard in some time, but Lin can do that; he gets to the paint better than most guys in the NBA. How do you account for that on offense?
Scott: I love that. He’s a triple threat type of player, and can be very effective out of pick and rolls as a result. He can shoot, finish at the rim or make plays for other guys. We also have Kobe that can do that, Steve if healthy can still do that, and Swaggy P (Nick Young) can get his shot at any time. When you have three or four guys that can get shots for themselves or their teammates, that makes us better as a team.
2. Confirmation that JLin will start in Byron’s mind
This one came when Byron was not asked about Lin but on another question about the wing position (Wes Johnson/Xavier Henry). He’s offering a lineup alternative when Kobe can play as a Small Forward and also put Steve next to Jeremy in the backcourt. Notice he didn’t say put Jeremy next to Steve. So Byron is definitely thinking Jeremy will start due to uncertainty about Steve’s health. It really makes sense if you think about it but I know some Lin fans have questions about starter/bench.
Translation: Byron is thinking Jeremy will start but probably will not announce it to keep all his guys training hard to have a chance to start. But it’s very likely from how he answered the question that Lin will be the main PG on the backcourt.
MT: You don’t have much experience on the wing next to Kobe in a potential starting line up, with Wesley Johnson and Xavier Henry being the options assuming you like Swaggy P coming off the bench as a scorer. What has to happen in that position?
Scott: I think Wesley has not played to his potential at all. He’s shown signs, but I think the kid is so talented, I’m really hoping it can be a break out year for him. Now, obviously, he has to come to camp and win that spot, and that’s on him. Or I could also put Kobe at that spot and put Steve next to Jeremy in the backcourt. There’s some flexibility there. But I’ve always been intrigued with Wesley, and I thought Xavier was excellent until he got hurt last year. But when you include Kobe and Swaggy, the wing is probably our strongest position.